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The ability of Action Heroes, swashbucklers and suchlike to make a rope, whip, chain or Grappling Hook Pistol wrap itself around a distant object securely. Used to achieve a Building Swing or to instantly tie up an enemy. While this is certainly possible with luck (and, preferably, a weight or hook on the end), you wouldn't want to stake your life on it.

Particularly notable when someone has a chain as a weapon. It's rare you'll see them actually beating anyone to a pulp with it, as happens in real life -- they'll do this instead. Also, a character wielding a whip will usually tie up an enemy with this technique, rather than actually whipping anyone with it.

Essentially, this is using an ordinary object as if it were a Grappling Hook Pistol.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • Paulie of One Piece can produce ropes from Hammerspace and tie them around a target. He can even make them lash together into a net after he throws them.
  • Generally implied with thread-users
  • While all martial artists in Ranma ½ can do this with chain, cloth, or rope (and have, repeatedly,) it's a particular specialty of Kodachi, champion of Martial Art Rhythmic Gymnastics, who can wrap her ribbon around anything from a cup of tea to the referee's table... and whip it right back at the opponent's face. Mousse, who attaches various implements of bodily harm to chains and ropes, also favors wrapping up opponents to skewering or bludgeoning them.
  • In one Filler episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! the characters were inside a virtual-reality video game. Joey was battling the arena's champion in order to win a card they needed to get across a desert--the champion turned out to be Mai, and when he explained the situation to her she decided to quit fighting and just order the Harpie Lady to snag the card from its display with her Rose Whip.
  • This is a particular ability of the Andromeda Chain in Saint Seiya. Although candidates for the Andromeda Cloth are trained specifically to do this with ordinary iron chains, the Cloth's weapon is actually semi-sentient and has its own will, allowing it to obey its master's direct commands as well as wrap itself around objects on its own accord.
    • The Balrog, one of Hades' Specters, also has this ability with his whip. Which is very, very bad indeed for whoever is ensnared, because he tends to slice the target apart when he pulls the whip back.
  • Makie from Mahou Sensei Negima can snag oranges with her rhythmic gymnastics ribbon, and it also ends up as part of her pactio.

Comic Books

  • Catwoman can do this with her whip, either to swing from a high object or to immobilise an opponent.
  • Birdie of the Street Fighter comics traps Chun Li with a normal chain this way.
  • Marvel Comics' Ghost Rider wields a long chain, but rarely gets to use it against his supernatural enemies. When fighting more human foes, it tends to wrap around them. Somewhat justified by it being magical and possibly semi-sentient.
  • Ninjette used a chain to catch Empowered the first time they met. They became friends afterwards.
  • Miho does this when she uses her sash to wrap around the bumper of a moving car and hold on.

Film

  • Indiana Jones has his canyon-swinging trick with his whip. (And even more oddly, it unties itself when he tugs on it afterwards, but not when he's putting all his weight on it by swinging across...)
  • Gogo Yubari of Kill Bill has a similar trick with her Epic Flail.
  • Ash does this with his belt to escape a pit at the start of Army of Darkness.
  • Flint Lockwood does this with a large shrimp and strand of spaghetti in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
  • Rapunzel can do this with her hair in Tangled.
  • Dil Se: in the song and dance number, "Satrangi Re", Amar throws out his long black scarf which whips around the waist of Meghna so he can use it to reel her in.


Literature

  • Inverted in Lord of the Rings. Sam's elven-made rope has to be knotted manually, but unties itself when commanded. (At least, that's what Sam thinks; Frodo blames a bad knot.)

Live Action TV

  • Done by various TV incarnations of Zorro.
  • In the pilot episode of the ~F/X~ TV series, Rolly manages to do this with a thrown winch, and snags it so tightly on the helicopter that it winds up snapping the high tension steel cable.
  • Oddly enough, in the attempt at the use of a vehicular grappling gun to turn tight corners, the Myth Busters crew repeatedly managed to get an "instant knot" out of their launcher as the grapnel wrapped itself around the target beams.
  • Xena does this. Of course she has many skills.

Video Games

  • Castlevania: While we all know the Vampire Killer is an enchanted whip, some of the Belmont familiy members were better than others at using it. Some of them got to the point of being able to command it to tie itself when nearing a hook in the ceiling. Magic, indeed, since not everyone can use it like that. Probably A Wizard Did It.
  • This is one of the attacks of Majora's Wrath in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
    • Slightly more plausible if those are tentacles, though.
  • Subverted in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. Your whip seems to instantly curl around objects like you would expect of an action hero's, but really it has a snake head on the leading end that bites onto things instead.
    • Wind Waker does something similar, but with a hook instead. Still can't be that safe however...
      • That's a grappling hook pistol without the pistol. What doesn't make sense about it is that it can steal items from enemies. Necklaces they're wearing or carrying in their pockets, feathers, etc.

Western Animation

  • In season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Iroh wrapped a chain immovably around a flying boulder and redirected it. Oddly, when he swung at the smaller boulders, they shattered.
  • In the animated The Magic Flute, the hero swings from a rafter using his cloak.
  • Linus from the various Peanuts animated features can grab objects by whipping his blanket at them.
  • Done with a snake in Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos.

Tabletop Games

  • 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons included the Lasher prestige class, a whip-specialist who could grab objects in this manner.
  • 3.5 ed. Dungeons and Dragons included a spell called "Animate Rope" that would let you use a rope in this way (though not in combat); a very difficult use of the Use Rope skill allows you to do it without magic.
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